The Gap

Yo, yep, it has been a while hence The Gap. Doesn’t mean i wasn’t busy. in contrary, very busy indeed on and off the track. After Ironman in Slovakia i took a week off and got right back in it to focus on the rest of the European Season, concluding with Eislek Triathlon ( half ) and IM Barcelona, mid September and beginning of October respectively.

I trained rather well despite the Dubai summer. Focused as always to get better. I love that never ending chase of always trying to get better. It is like fashion, it never ends. My fire is burning. within me there is this constant drive that keeps me going. I do not need anything or anybody else other than my head and whats between the ears. The anger is there. i am a truly angry person, but do not let it get the better of me, i use it for positive good stuff.

right now, there is also Metallica between my ears. Justice for all album, Harvester of Sorrow. last good album before all that classical orchestra fusion crap. My favorite album is Master of Puppets. absolute banger, that one.

Its actually funny, i was thinking today on what i have improved on this year. next to getting better in all 3 disciplines and a better understanding of technique and application of the same, i think my biggest improvement has been the mental and tactical aspect. I am able to see now on what is needed to do my best at every race and be consistent. I think it has a lot do with age as well. very satisfying feeling.

Competition wise, with the last 2 comps i was able to cap off a good european season. The Eislek triathlon was the first of the last two. Eislek is the northernmost region in Luxembourg, where my mom is from. Very, very hilly rural roads with lots of narrow villages strewn along the way. lots of forests and open fields. very beautiful area of Luxembourg. The Eislek is maybe known to foreigners as the background for the Battle of the Bulge in WW2. Thats where the Germans basically had their last offensive, when General von Rundstedt threw all the Panzerdivisions he had left against the Americans and drove them back into Belgium. It was the winter of 1944 1945 and it took the Americans by surprise and they needed a couple of months to regain the ground and finally win the war in May 1945.

The triathlon was also a battle in itself. The race was over the Half ironman distance and organised by Marc Walch, who runs several races in Luxembourg. The bike course had nearly 1700m of climbing over 90k and made Wiesbaden look like a fucking birthday party. the run had ca. 300m  of climbing over 21.1k. great race well organised. The bike course was either climbing or descending with no real rest. not my speciality but i still managed to pull off one of the best bike times. same with the run. actually this race might be one of my best performances, because it is soooooooo far out of my comfort zone, but i still managed to prevail and get 3rd in the end behind 2 Belgians who are well versed in riding these hills.

on a personal note, i was really proud to be on the podium and think of my mum.

when i got back to Dubai, i was almost again straight away on the go for Ironman Barcelona. That race is actually known to be a wheelsucking race, but not anymore that much i can tell you. They build in a hill that was really long and took a substantial effort to get up twice. it really pulled the field apart quite a bit. total climbing over 180k was 1200m. basically like Roth.

In this instant, i would like to thank the Spanish triathlon federation. the professional race was fair. Each bike ” group ” had a dedicated referee that was with the group for most of the bike ride. A couple of the ” fast ” age groupers had an actual ” coffee ride ” with not more than 2m between them. part of that group was also the pro women race. The 4 or 5 amateurs who were faster than myself inclusive of the top pro lady, did not follow the rules and cheated. You can tell by the times: over an hour with the wetsuit, ” super ” bike ride close to 4:30:00, then fading away on the run. same with the ladies. I am not just  saying that, i saw with my own eyes, but i did not really bother me. i focused on my race. I can look in the mirror and be happy with myself.

Patrik Nilson had a 7:55:00 on that course. what a ham. absolutely cracking that.

There were also a couple of russian/ukrainian dopers in the field, Tutukin and Sapunov. Fuck you cunts.

for me in the end, i got 22 out of 60plus pros. with 8:56:00, considering it was a non wetsuit swim and a quite windy bike ride, i am happy with that. still room to improve though.

that concludes the european season and now i look forward to the UAE season which is kicking off very soon.

i wish all the best for that and good luck with the races.

peace out. Yours truly.

Nicky Santoro





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